Tribute to Kris Kaspersky
Just over a year ago one of the greatest minds in the cyber research world sadly passed away.
Born in the small Russian village of Uspenskoye, Kris Kaspersky, originally named Nikolay Likhachev, suffered an unfortunate, yet ominous, medical incident in his early years. Despite the mishap, though, it did not prevent him from achieving any task he set his mind to. Quite the opposite; It would arguably pave his path for the rest of his life.
After building his first radio at the age of seven, it was clear that Kris had an innate talent for all things technical and it was not long before he moved on from tampering with radios to understanding the world of computers. By getting his hands on a Pravetz 8D, a Bulgarian clone of the British Oric Atmos in the mid-1980s, his life’s mission of understanding the inner workings of personal computers, and the networks that were to evolve from them, was beginning to take shape.
By the time he was in high school, his research into worlds beyond ours was already being published. In this case it was for astronomy magazines. Soon, though, he would turn his attention from the world expanding in outer-space to the virtual world developing in cyber-space.
Through his 16 books covering reverse engineering, Assembly and C, at a time when there was scarcely anything written about these topics, Kris’s method and style of teaching gained a wide appeal. From junior programmers to more experienced analysts, his books inspired countless numbers of researchers worldwide, including many in the Check Point research team itself.
Whereas most books on computer science are written in an often dry tone, Kris’s approach to the subject was unique. They portray a strong ability to explain complex concepts in a comprehensible way and yet also provide a deeper understanding to those at higher levels. Reading them, one can’t help but feel being taken by the hand on a journey, with Kris as their personal guide.
Indeed, Kris’s production of these books came from a genuinely independent desire to teach and reveal his findings in world that, being still in its infancy, was only beginning to take shape. In this way, he deservedly earned the reputation within the world of cyber research as one of the founding fathers of reverse engineering.
As a former member of the Check Point research team, Kris is remembered with fondness, respect and appreciation. His contribution to cyber security cannot be overstated as he continues to teach and inspire so many in the industry, and those who wish to enter it. He is dearly missed.